Local Elected Officials were NOT Officially Notified Regarding the EPA’s Request for Substantive Comments Pertaining to the Definition of “Navigable Waters” under the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule and Clean Water Act (looks like all across the country!)
** ALL STATES Need to Pay Attention! **
Many Arkansas legislators and county judges have informed us that they were not officially notified or they did not know anything about the EPA’s request for the local government entities to provide comments to EPA concerning the definition of “navigable waters” under waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) and the Clean Water Act.
Be sure to click each of the links we’ve provided and read the information carefully. It’s imperative that you STAY INFORMED!
The letter linked above is from EPA to the Governor’s Office
The letter linked above is the response from the Governor’s Office to EPA. To our knowledge, the governor did not involve the local government in this comment process.
The letter linked above is the letter that was sent out by Wes Ward of the Arkansas Agriculture Department at the governor’s request. This request was directed to many state agencies, commissions, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).
From the letter: “As a result, Governor Hutchinson wants to make sure that the thoughts and concerns of agriculture and forestry are adequately conveyed to the federal agencies and he would like your assistance responding to this request.”
Also in the letter, Wes Ward (per Gov. Hutchinson’s request) directed stakeholders and NGOs thusly: “If you would like to provide input on the definition of Waters of the United States, please send your comments to myself or Cynthia Edwards no later than the close of the business on Thursday, June 15, 2017.”
That begs the question: WHY was the governor directing agriculture and forestry and NGOs to direct their thoughts and concerns to HIM rather than directly to EPA?
Whatever happened to representative constitutional government and its voice?
Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) should not have ANY involvement in this fundamental process! If you just read the first couple of paragraphs in the letter linked directly below, you can see NACo speaking for our local government. This is unacceptable! Reiterating once again, this is a non-governmental organization (NGO) speaking on behalf of our constitutional government! We cannot continue to let this happen, IF we want constitutional government, folks! Our country is in the death grips of NGOs right now!!! HELP! S.O.S! We are in great peril and distress in states all across the country!
Here is a letter from the U.S Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, International Municipal Lawyers Association, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, American Public Works Association, National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies, National Association of Regional Councils, County Executives of America, National School Boards Association, AASA: The School Superintendents Association, ASBO International, Association of Education Services Agencies, National Rural Education Association, and National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition. Please notice there are international organizations involved in the comments.
Notice the international organizations that are speaking on behalf of the American public. That means YOU! Again, this is unacceptable!
(We’ll cover this subject in more detail in a future article.)
It appears that none of the local government entities were officially notified to provide comments to EPA on the WOTUS, either. This was verified by Secure Arkansas sending a FOIA request to a large number of county judges and clerks. The FOIA request that was made to Arkansas County Quorum courts was:
The responses that we received back from the counties were that there were no official requests made to the counties to provide a comment to EPA concerning the WOTUS.
Here are some replies we received:
“We received no documents in regards to your request.”
“We have not received anything from the EPA.”
“In response to your FOIA request, County Judge _______ _________ and myself do not recall receiving any official notification requesting the county to provide the EPA input on a proposed revision to the definition of waters of the United States.”
[name withheld by Secure Arkansas at this time]
“After consulting with my office, the County Clerk office and the County Emergency Service Coordinator, we have been unable to find any official request from the EPA regarding solicitation of written comments on the WOTUS.”
“[Our] County has no record of receiving any notification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting input on a proposed revision to the definition of waters of the United States.”
“I have received nothing in regards to what you have requested”
“My office has received No notification or request for input regarding this matter.”
The question here is: who failed to officially notify local government to provide a comment to EPA? National Association of Counties (NACo) met with EPA over this issue and was provided the instructions regarding the June 19, 2017 deadline for providing a response. Since NACo is the voice for the Arkansas Association of Counties (AAC), was AAC notified, and if so, why didn’t they notify the counties? Also, since the governor’s office was notified, why weren’t the local governmental entities notified?
Secure Arkansas sent out 103 FOIA requests to tribes across the nation…and still no official notification! (We will update our readers should we find any official notification.)
Here’s one verbal comment from a tribe: We have received NO request from any source requesting a us to send EPA a comment on the WOTUS.
It’s time that the Justices of the Peace (JPs) (or County Commissioners) stop depending on National Association of Counties (NACo), Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC), and steering committees (under AAC) to do their thinking. Remember, state and local governments, you were left in the dark about this EPA deadline to submit your comments regarding the definition of “navigable waters”.
In case you weren’t aware, in other states, Justices of the Peace are called County Commissioners (Missouri, for example).
The EPA should have been dealing with the local government entities and state elected officials DIRECTLY, not through the National Association of Counties (NACo) or the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC)!
EPA had no business leaving the local officials out of the loop.
ATTENTION Elected Officials: It’s high time to reestablish connection with our constitutional government instead of using NGOs to make your decisions. National Association of Counties (NACo), Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC), National Municipal League (NML), and Municipal League are making decisions that should be made by the local government entities. We do well to remember that NACo, AAC, and NML and Municipal League are NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)! This means they’re comprised of UNelected officials… operating at taxpayers’ expense! NGOs are getting rich off of state and local government!
Lastly, it’s not too late for Justices of the Peace to complete and submit their Individual Official Comment Form to the EPA. You may complete it and take a picture of it with your cell phone; then email it to CWAwotus@epa.gov ASAP, definitely this week.
**If just ONE JP IN EACH COUNTY will do his job, it could be the salvation of the whole county’s water rights down the road!**
TEN counties in Arkansas have passed the resolution supporting President Trump’s definition of “navigable waters”.
Please email us a copy of your comment: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Securing the blessings of liberty,